Like humans, dogs are susceptible to getting infections and diseases.
Hence as pet parents, we have learned that canines require good hygiene, adequate rest, regular exercise, and a well-balanced diet to be strong and healthy.
All of the above methods enhance your mutt's immunity, lowering his chances of falling sick.
Research has found that some foods can directly boost a dog's immunity. Want to find out more about these foods? Then read on
Foods that enhance a dog's immunity
Veterinary doctors agree that you shouldn't solely depend on commercial dog food, particularly kibble, to give your mutt all the required minerals and nutrients.
Some commercial dog foods have additives, while others lack sufficient nutrients.
Luckily, there are other foods you can include in your canine's diet that will support immunity in preventing and fighting diseases. They are:
Celery is loved by humans globally; the parsley vegetable makes an appearance in thousands of recipes.
Your furry friend can also benefit from this tasty vegetable in numerous ways. Celery is an ideal source of
- Vitamins B, K, C, and E
Furthermore, celery contains low calories, aids detoxification, and can help eliminate chronic bad breath in dogs.
How to feed celery
Dog nutritionists recommend feeding your dog raw celery to preserve its nutrients, but you can lightly steam it if you like.
Chewing on raw celery will help remove the tartar build-up in a pup's teeth and prevent dental issues.
Give your loyal friend a stalk to chew three or four times weekly.
Poultry (turkey and chicken)
Turkey and chicken contain copious amounts of vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 is essential in a dog's immunity as it helps reduce inflammation and contributes to cytokine production.
Moreover, vitamin B6 aids in amino acid metabolism; these are antibodies and cytokines building blocks.
Studies have also shown that vitamin B6 participates in dogs' lymphocyte differentiation, proliferation, and maturation.
How to feed poultry
Buy boneless chicken or turkey breast and boil it thoroughly. Once it's cooked, you can mix it with the dog food or serve it plain.
Ensure there are no bones in the turkey or chicken meat as they can lead to choking or even puncturing the intestines.
Also, don't offer turkey or chicken to dogs with allergies to either food.
Although some nutritionists argue that cabbage can encourage gas buildup if your dog consumes it regularly, it's still a healthy treat.
Provided you feed your pup cabbage in moderation, it will benefit from the plant fibers that improve digestion and antioxidants that boost immunity.
Cabbage also contains compounds that could prevent certain forms of cancer.
In addition, this crunchy vegetable can improve a dog's fur and skin by enhancing keratin production.
How to feed cabbage
You can serve your loyal friend cooked or raw cabbage. However, some argue that cooked cabbage is easier for canines to digest.
How much you serve will depend on the mode of preparation. If it's raw cabbage, cut it into small pieces and give a tiny amount.
You can feed cooked cabbage in higher amounts, but you will have to start slowly so that your canines get accustomed to the taste.
Ever noticed that almost all natural canine treats contain bananas? Well, that's because bananas are not only tasty but also nutritious.
Bananas contain manganese, potassium, fiber, copper, vitamin C, and B.
The potassium will strengthen the blood vessels and keep them open, while the other minerals will ease bowel movements and improve immunity.
How to feed bananas
You can offer your canine raw bananas. However, if you want to get creative, you can mix bananas with other fruits to make the food more nutritious.
Remember that bananas have high sugar content, so you should feed them to your dog occasionally and in minimal amounts.
Huge canines like Cane Corso or Basset hounds can have half a banana once or thrice a week. Smaller dogs like poodles and chihuahuas will be glad to have a few tiny pieces.
Carrots are sweet, and almost all dogs love them due to their crunchy taste.
These root vegetables contain antioxidants and plenty of fiber. Additionally, carrots provide vitamin A, supporting organ formation in young dogs and enhancing immunity.
Studies show that carrots can promote
- Eye Health
- Bone growth
- Glowing skin
How to feed carrots
Cut the carrots into slices before offering them to your furry friend to avoid choking. If you have a tiny dog breed, ensure the carrot pieces are also small.
Some pet owners prefer serving the root vegetable cooked, which is okay, though cooked carrots won't do much for your canines' teeth.
Also, note that a canine's digestive system will not break down carrots completely. Hence you may see find some whole pieces in the dog's poop.
Start by offering a few pieces of the vegetable so your mutt gets accustomed to it and prevents diarrhea.
Containing antioxidants, minimal calories, and vitamins C and K, Cranberries are ideal dog food.
The vitamins present strengthen your dogs' bones and improve heart health. Lowering chances of your canine suffering from strokes.
Moreover, a recent study found that cranberries can help cure mild dog urinary tract infections (UTIs). Thus, if your notice your mutt peeing more than usual, the fruit will be useful.
How to feed cranberries
There are various ways of feeding cranberries, including; blended juice, tablets, raw, or powder.
Of all the methods, raw and powder forms are the easiest to use to add these tasty berries to your furry friend's diet.
Veterinary doctors advise against commercial cranberry juice since it contains chemical additives and high sugar levels.
If you want to feed fresh cranberries, a handful will do for a large dog and half the amount for a smaller canine.
For cranberry capsules, the rule is 400 milligrams capsule for medium-sized mutts and 250 milligrams for tiny dogs.
Blueberries are a superfood for various reasons; they contain antioxidants and can prevent obesity and heart diseases.
Blueberries may slow memory loss and overall aging if you have an older dog.
How to feed blueberries
Dogs like blueberries fresh and raw; thoroughly wash the fruit before serving.
Note that you should only use organic ones to avoid the chemicals from genetically modified blueberries.
Blueberries can sometimes lead to choking, particularly in smaller dog breeds. Ensure you watch out for any odd behavior after feeding the fruit.
Your dog will immensely benefit from the broccoli, provided you offer it in moderation.
Broccoli has iron, calcium, potassium, and fiber. Substances that boost a dog's immune system and ease digestion, respectively.
How to feed broccoli
Dogs find it difficult to digest raw broccoli; thus, you can offer the vegetable cooked or steamed.
Mushrooms contain a little-known mineral called selenium. Inside a dog's body, enzymes depend on the mineral to differentiate.
Selenium can also help in managing free radicals and boost antibody production.
Mushrooms also have B vitamins; niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. The combination fastens digestion, maintains healthy skin, and reduces inflammation.
How to feed mushrooms
There are plenty of mushroom supplements sold in the market today. Top among them is Northern Cascades Immune Defense.
Immune Defense contains a balanced amount of all the essential mushrooms, including;
- Turkey tail
Furthermore, Immune Defense has antioxidants that will eliminate the free radicals in your canine's body.
You can add two spoons of Immune Defense to your canine's food daily for an effective and comprehensive immunity boost.
Red meat provides dogs with iron, a critical component of the immunity system. Iron regulates cytokine production, compounds that trigger immune cells into action.
There are two types of iron, haem, obtained from meat, and non-haem, which comes from plants.
Studies have shown that a dog's gut digests and absorbs haem iron easily and faster than non-haem iron.
Even so, if your canine is allergic to red meat, it would be best to avoid it and use another food instead.
It's crucial to note that even though the above foods will strengthen your canine's immunity, some may cause health problems when offered in excess. Hence moderation will be essential.
Also, if your dog has preexisting health issues, you should first consult your vet doctor before making any changes in the diet.